Sean Dillingham: “I can’t believe I get to do this”

I always thought about starting an organization “Actors Acting”. Actors that go out and volunteer at VA’s, homeless shelters, trash pickup, etc. Make the world a better place. There’s a lot of actors out there! I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sean Dillingham. As an actor, he has appeared in over 100+ commercials and 50+ […]

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I always thought about starting an organization “Actors Acting”. Actors that go out and volunteer at VA’s, homeless shelters, trash pickup, etc. Make the world a better place. There’s a lot of actors out there!

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sean Dillingham. As an actor, he has appeared in over 100+ commercials and 50+ films and 18 national television series. He’s had network television appearances on Operation REPO, Discovery ID, Buried in the Backyard, The NightShift, Longmire, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, This is Us, There’s Johnny, Yellowstone & Better call Saul! He has acted alongside Kevin Costner, Tony Danza, Jane Seymour, Patrick Duffy, Roger Bart, Don Ameche, Stacy Keache, John O’Hurley, Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg, Milo Ventimiglia, Bob Odenkirk, Aidan Quinn, BJ Novak, Ashton Kutcher and more. Sean has trained with several of the top Improv Troupes in the country including The Second City, The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade and I.O. West. He also studied acting at both the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

As a standup, Sean is known as one of the finest improvising performers today. He uses this skill to interact with the audience — spontaneously creating jokes specific to any audience. Sean has the rare ability to play off the audience. He is able to discover things about audience members and create an interactive show that leaves everyone feeling like they were included in a part of something unforgettable.

He was featured as a finalist and winner on the television show, America’s Funniest People, where ABC television producer Stephanie Keane sited him as,” another Robin Williams”. He was also a finalist on the Star Search spin-off, “Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star” and has been featured on “XM Radio”. He’s shared the stage with Louie Anderson, Gilbert Gottfried, Patty Loveless, Belinda Carlisle, Loretta Lynn, The Doobie Brothers, Rick Springfield, K.C. and the Sunshine band, Victoria Jackson and more.

Sean has begun to step behind the camera, writing, producing and directing several short films. Studied Cinematography l01 and attends The Film Maker Academy.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

It’s cliche, but in a small town in Arizona. The youngest in my family, I was always encouraged to be outgoing, show my personality, etc. That’s why I gravitated to the performing arts.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Got into a play in elementary school. Loved it. It was thrilling. Then was in a town parade. Then, and the big moment for me was, I saw the film “Singing in the Rain”. It blew me away. Gene Kelly was amazing and it was at that moment I thought, “THAT’S what I’m going to do!”

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There’s been a lot of them! Honestly, every time I get on a set, get to act with new actors in new environments, it’s thrilling. I still sit back and pinch myself and say “I can’t believe I get to do this”. It doesn’t matter if they are unknown or established actors — it is always fun and exciting!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Sure — I used to think the actor was THE MOST IMPORTANT thing on a set. And I got a big commercial early on in my career and all the crew had been working on the lighting, sound sets since 5 in the morning. Well, I arrived around noon to film, a crew member said, “Look buddy, we been here working on this since 5 a.m. and we’re exhausted and ready for lunch, so don’t mess up your lines and let’s go”. And I realized, at that moment, I was probably the least important thing there. There are so many people that make a production happen. Unfortunately, it’s usually the actor or director that gets credited for it being “Their project” but let me tell you, there are a lot of people that make it happen and you are just one cog in a very big machine. I’m glad that happened early on, it set me right, There are a lot of actors, ego-driven and it’s not a good thing!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m always working so that’s tough to say, but I have a tv series in development right now called “Horse Camp” I just starred in a feature film called “Whiskey Sour” and several films in the can waiting to come out called, “Manson Brothers: Midnight Zombie Massacre” and one called “Vengeance”.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Because that is life. And the film is a reflection of life. I know all kinds of people in life, black, white, gay, straight, all kinds of religions. Various people and various backgrounds. And we all get along. Life is diverse and the film should be a reflection of that. Real-life.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1 You are not the “star” you are one part of anything

2 Always be training!

3 It is a gypsy lifestyle

4 Be in shape, have lots of stamina, it is long days and nights on sets

5 Know your lines!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Get a life outside acting. Family, friends. Be involved in activities, classes. It can help in acting but it will just make you an interesting human being! You have to have more in life besides acting or you WILL burn out!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I always thought about starting an organization “Actors Acting”. Actors that go out and volunteer at VA’s, homeless shelters, trash pickup, etc. Make the world a better place. There’s a lot of actors out there!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife. She has encouraged and supports me in every way. She runs lines with me, travels with me, preps outfits and food for me. Everything. She is 100% my support system and there is no way I would have achieved anything without her!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Never believe your own press release” Be humble, be nice, be supportive

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Richard Dreyfuss. Saw him early on, followed his films and career and just love his acting. Would love to speak and converse and pick his brian. He’s brilliant!

How can our readers follow you online?


This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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